Here’s who and what stood out during the 49ers 23-17 preseason loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
1. QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Continues to show what he showed last season. Led the offense into the red zone three times, and would have thrown at least one touchdown pass had his teammates not dropped four of his passes. Garoppolo will keep the 49ers in lots of games this season.
2. RB Alfred Morris. Ran hard. Found holes. Carried the ball 17 times for 84 yards (4.9 per carry). Probably made the team with this superb performance. Could even earn a significant role during the regular season if Jerick McKinnon or Matt Breida struggle running the ball. Morris is a perfect fit for this offense, and different than the rest of the featherweight running backs on the roster. He’s a heavyweight.
3. LB Fred Warner. The best linebacker on the field for the first-string defense (Reuben foster player with the backups). Recorded a team-high five tackles and one tackle for loss. Warner is better than veteran linebacker Malcolm Smith and should remain the starting middle linebacker once Reuben Foster returns from his suspension Week 3.
4. CB Richard Sherman. Broke up a short pass over the middle and gave up no catches. The Colts treated Sherman with respect and didn’t test him more than once.
5. DT Solomon Thomas. Hit quarterback Andrew Luck and bounced off. Defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu brought Luck down to finish the play with a sack.
6. RG Mike Person. Started at right guard and outplayed Joshua Garnett, who played every other series with the starters. Person probably will be the starting guard Week 1. If he struggles, Garnett probably will get his chance to start at right guard.
7. WR Richie James. Led the 49ers with 65 receiving yards. Caught a pass over the middle and ran through the defense for a 42-yard gain. Absolutely should make the team. James is the fourth-best receiver on the roster.
THE NOT SO GOOD
1. QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Telegraphed his final two passes in the red zone. The first pass got broken up. The second pass should have been intercepted.
2. CB Ahkello Witherspoon. Gave up a 19-yard catch to Chester Rogers on third-and-9. The Colts seemed to target Witherspoon whenever they needed to make a play.
3. Pass rush. Came close to recording lots of sacks, but recorded only one.
4. Injuries. Reuben Foster suffered a concussion and Jimmie Ward pulled his quadriceps.
5. Penalties. Committed 13. Officials enforced 10. Here’s the breakdown: Marquise Goodwin – illegal formation (first play from scrimmage for the offense). Pierre Garcon – holding (red zone). Joshua Garnett – holding. Laken Tomlinson – holding twice (one near the red zone). Ahkello Witherspoon – pass interference. DeForest Buckner – roughing the passer. Sheldon Day – roughing the passer. Mark Nzeocha – lowering the head to initiate contact. Weston Richburg – illegal blindside block. Dekoda Watson – neutral-zone infraction. Cameron Wick – false start. Jeremy McNichols – false start.
6. Drops. Raheem Mostert dropped a pass. Garrett Celek dropped two passes, including one in the red zone. Kendrick Bourne dropped one in the red zone. Cole Hikutini dropped one in the end zone. And Dante Pettis dropped one in the end zone.
7. Missed assignments. No one covered Colts tight end Darrell Daniels when he caught a 16-yard pass on fourth-and-1. And no one covered tight end Eric Ebron when he made a 15-yard touchdown catch on first-and-10.